Have you ever taken that 100 Places to go Before You Die quiz on Facebook? If you haven't done it yet, you should check it out. The quiz stats that the majority of Americans have been to less than 9 of the 100 places listed. I have been fortunate to have traveled to 21 of these. But I am not done yet!
As I dream of all the places I want to travel and the things I would like to see before I "settle down", I was very excited when I met my new Etsy friend Natasha from Fantastic DIY. Natasha is from Southern China. Natasha, if I ever make it to China, I would love to meet you in person and see what you do!
What makes you unique?
Hi! I am Natasha, the maker behind the Etsy shop FantasticDIY. I am a combination of free spirit maker and business dreamer. I was born in a small seaside city in southern China, Swatow. Swatowian have been regarded as Eastern Jew because of our talent and obsession in doing business, differentiating from people from other places of China, who think holding a position in a state-own corporation is a better career pursuit.
I was brought up mostly in the hands of my grandmother (my mother’s mother) and my mother. My grandmother was a leader of a big craft family: she has 7 children including 6 girls, and all my aunts are best crafters in town. My mother always tells me how they embroidered, knitted, weaved…all those beautiful things, exported to Japan and Europe. I love watching them craft with their magical fingers. My love of crafting, graph, art, creativity and color is rooted in my family.
I remember clearly how my father was surprised by my drawing when I was 3. I drew a leading character in a Japanese cartoon, of course adding more features I thought she should have. My father thought I was talented and I started attending art courses at the age of 6. Unfortunately, under the high pressure of school work I stopped taking formal courses after several years. But my love of painting never died. I joined school workshops and taught myself Chinese traditional painting, charcoal drawing, painting with water color and acrylic. I love experimenting with different medias and playing with paper and color.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I have a full time job in a multinational company. I worked in a skyscraper office and craft in the evening and weekends. In my free time when I am not working or crafting, I spend time with my family and friends, do exercise, yoga, swim, travel and read. I also wrote a fantasy fiction for myself.
Is Etsy your full time or part time business?
Etsy is my part-time business, but I want to make it full time. I am struggling now because my full time job is taking up so much of my time. I don’t have enough time to create and take care of my shop. But I believe love and insisting will pay off. After all, we have only one chance in our life to follow our own heart. I couldn't have said it better myself Natasha! I hope every Etsy artist strives to do what they love. It is a difficult way to make money, but I see that many artist have made it, and I know we can too! I read Etsy blog featured seller daily for my inspiration!
What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?
I recently open a booth in bonanza www.Bonanaza.com/booths/FantasticDIY and a shop in luulla www.FantasticDIY.luulla.com. I also share on pinterest www.pinterest.com/fantasyjewelry and Wanelo (FantasticDIY). I have a twitter account as well (FantasticDIY), and Tumblr (FantasticDIY).
What steps do you take in your creative process?
Beside painting, I have a huge collection of beautiful pictures/photos/ graphs, both digital and hard copy. Whenever I read a journal and see any interesting images I scan them. I do not always have a pen in hand when an inspiration come to me, sometimes it takes me one week to have time to sit down in peace and paint, but I try my best to record everything. I love playing with images and different medias, altering the images, combining them to make creative and fabulous things. Although I selling necklace in my shops, I also make a variety of things for my families.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?
I love being in the Etsy community. Browsing around and you’ll be interested by the endless creativity. Many dreams come true with the help of Etsy.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Fresh eyes and a curious mind help me so much. The whole world is a big fantasy for me. Walls of sky buildings can be brushed and painted on, cars can be lined up to make a river…I mean, I always fancy myself by thinking how to alter this world. Even we live in dull cities, creativity can be possible if you think in a different way.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to chase my dream to be a creative crafter and live on my business , crafting for people all over the globe.
If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?
I think the most important thing is to love what you are doing. Doing business on Etsy is not easy and the only power to lead you along the long journey is your love to what you do.
Natasha, I really love your view points of loving what you do and doing it for all the right reasons. Your artwork is amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey and your work with us! I wish you the best of luck on Etsy and throughout your craft!